Like a good Marvel fangirl, I woke up on November 20th, 2015 at 3:00 a.m. for the premiere of Netflix's Jessica Jones. As you all know (see Marvel's Jessica Jones: A Hard Drinking, Short Fused Mess of A Woman and Currently Giving Me All The Marvel Feels), I have been stoked for this series for a long time. And finally, she is here.
Since this is the first recap, I thought I would provide a little introduction and overview as to my initial thoughts about the series. Let me begin by noting that the cinematography is incredible. Similar to that of Netflix's Daredevil, the camera work makes Hell's Kitchen look good. The music is jazzy and dream like, with a Sin City like feel, all composed by Emmy award winning Sean Callery, whose work can be heard on shows like Medium, 24, and Homeland.
Then, there is Krysten Ritter who plays Jessica Jones. She has to carry this series, and I can tell from the first episode this will not be a problem for her. Marvel's casting has once again prevailed. I had my doubts about Krysten's abilities, but, in the words of Military Husband, she plays broken well. She drinks hard liquor, often straight from the bottle, sleeps very little, and when she does it is in her clothes, curses frequently, lives in a dingy apartment and showers infrequently.
And she has that look - the look of someone with a troubled past. It is refreshing to see someone embrace a character as much as Ritter has done Jones. She is not quite what I expected, but what she does with Jessica Jones really, REALLY works.
Before we jump into Episode 1, I would like to remind you all that this show is filled with "adult" content. This is not your typical PG13 rated Marvel film. There is cursing and fairly graphic sex. Also, this will be the ONLY recap without reference to major spoilers. While there will be some mild ones, I will not reveal the ending of Episode 1 for those of you who would like to watch the entire series.
However, with that being said, continue at your own risk.
Episode 1 AKA Ladies Night
I was never the hero you that you wanted me to be. ~ Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones is a private investigator in Hell's Kitchen, running Alias Investigations from her small, booze riddled and unkempt apartment. For the most part, she investigates cheating spouses, working for the firm Hogarth, Chao & Benowitz, L.L.P. Attorney Jeryn Hogarth, played by Carrie-Anne Moss who you all may remember from The Matrix, is a Marvel Comics character featured in the Iron Fist comics. Obviously, Carrie-Anne Moss plays the female version.
Jeryn Hogarth in the comics vs. Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeryn Hogarth
Oh, and Hogarth is no angel herself. She is married to a doctor named Wendy, and is currently having an affair with her assistant, Pam. Although she describes Jones as "erratic and volatile," Hogarth gives her a job - to serve summons on a seedy strip club owner in which she is handling a personal injury suit against. Jones tracks him down in one of my favorite scenes of the episode - on the phone while using the toilet, of which she has no toilet paper. So far, Marvel's attention to detail is quite superb. Yes, Jones is by no means stable; it is not long before she is hearing Kilgrave's (aka The Purple Man) voice in her head, which she seems to self medicate away with whisky and reciting street names she lived on as a child over and over.
For the most part, you see a lot of Jones like this:
Which was pretty much me EVERY SINGLE DAY after law school.
Can I blame those years on being a broken superhero? #pleaseandthankyou
One evening, a couple arrives at Alias Investigations and hires Jones to find their daughter Hope. Hope is a collegiate track star and athlete. The next day, Jones talks to Hope's roommate and best friend, who lets Jones know that Hope left over "some new guy." Later on that evening, Jones tracks down the strip club owner leaving a nightclub and we see Jones superpowers at work for the first time. She lifts his car with her bear hands so he cannot drive off, and threatens that if he does not accept service, she will melt him with her "laser eyes" (a skill she does NOT have). He obliges and Hogarth calls Jones angry as he told his attorney Jones threatened to melt him. Apparently, people believe in all sorts of things ever since the whole Battle of New York, Loki and the aliens drama.
Soon after, we see Jones on the street drinking out of a paper bag, creeping around the bar that belongs to Luke Cage, played exceptionally well by actor Mike Colter of The Following and The Good Wife. She has been photographing Cage, as well, presumably for an infidelity case she is working. Cage sees Jones and invites her in, claiming it is "ladies night" and an attractive woman drinking alone is good for business. Jones heads inside, drinks one too many and ends up sleeping with Cage. Apres sex, she sees a photograph of a woman in Cage's bathroom, begins crying, grabs her clothes and tells Cage "sorry" on her way out.
And your girl wrote in her notes, "Man, this woman has issues." But I mean:
She should have issues. #ThePurpleManisNOjoke
The next day, Jones learns that Hope has been making lots of charges on her credit card for clothing, dinners and expensive lingerie. Jones assumes Hope is trying hard to impress her boyfriend. Jones goes to a restaurant where a charge was made and asks the maitre'd if he remembers Hope. He does, and he also remembers the British man with Hope and how he asked to be seated at a table where a couple already was eating dinner and for a complimentary $500.00 bottle of wine. The entire restaurant seemed to comply with whatever this strange British man willed. Jones instantly recalls herself eating with Kilgrave at a restaurant in the same manner.
This entire series has a feel of a graphic novel, instead of a comic book.
Realizing that it might be Kilgrave, Jones runs out of the restaurant and tries to book a plane ticket to Hong Kong on Hope's credit card. When the card is declined, she goes to her best friend, Trish Walker, aka Marvel's Hellcat. Trish reminds her that Kilgrave is dead (in the comics, Kilgrave was incarcerated) and she is only suffering from PTSD. At Jones insistence, Trish gives her the money. Riding in the cab on the way out, she changes her mind and stops at a hotel where the bellman recognizes her immediately. She finds Hope in a hotel room, paralyzed in bed. Kilgrave has told her not to move, and as she is under his spell, she has wet the bed waiting on his return. Jones picks her up, and she fights violently, screaming and clawing. Jones brings her back to her apartment/office where Hope's parents are waiting. Hope thanks Jones, and Jones follows them all to the elevator. Once on the elevator, Jones looks at Hope and realizes something in her face has changed.
You will have to read my next review for the shocking finale to Episode 1 #justyouwait! Or begin the series on Netflix, which I highly recommend.
Click here for Episode 2 Recap: AKA Crush Syndrome.
You can also read/skip to all recaps here:
As always, I am still,